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The Repercussions of Transphobic Legislation

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Heather (we aren’t using her last name) is a mother of two living in Alabama, a state that recently passed an anti-trans bill, SB184, that makes it a felony for her to seek the medical care her son needs.

Heather discusses her family’s journey, her son, the recent wave of transphobia, and the repercussions of this bill.

Please consider donating to Heather’s gofundme, which will allow her to relocate her family to a state where her son will be safe. They are very close to reaching their goal.

Ken Harbaugh:

Burn the Boats is proud to support VoteVets, the nation’s largest and most impactful progressive veterans organization. To learn more, or to join their mission, go to VoteVets.org.

Heather:

This is hard. This is not what I expected my life to be. None of us live a life that we expect, but mine in particular has been a little difficult. I finally felt like I had gotten somewhere where life was going to be a little easier, and then come the Republicans. We're just trying to live our lives, and go to the doctor, and they're wanting to take that away from us.

Ken Harbaugh:

I’m Ken Harbaugh, and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions.

My guest today is Heather, and for reasons that will soon become clear, we're not using her last name. She is a mother of two, living in Alabama, a state that recently passed an Anti-Trans bill, SB 184, that makes it a felony for Heather to seek the medical care her son needs Heather. Heather, thanks for coming on Burn The Boats.

Heather:

Sure. Thanks for inviting me.

Ken Harbaugh:

Before we start, Heather, I just want to acknowledge how deeply unfair this is, and I mean the interview, not just what you're going through. But I'm so aware that nobody ever asks me to justify my humanity to others.

Heather:

Right.

Ken Harbaugh:

But that's what you have to do every time you come on a show like this to fight for your son. I interview a lot of public figures and they sign up for this kind of scrutiny, but you're a mom who loves her kid, and just wants him to be accepted and get the medical care he needs. I hope you'll accept that apology, upfront.

Heather:

Oh, that's fine. Yes, and I completely appreciate that. At this point, I'm kind of like, I think I'm going to sign up for this, because it's heartbreaking to me that we're in a situation in Alabama where some of us have the ability to get out. Some of us are dying to get out and we build GoFundMes, and then there's going to be kids stuck here. So, I feel like I need to sign up for this. I feel like I know enough about it and I've experienced it firsthand that maybe it's something I do need to sign up for.

Ken Harbaugh:

Can you tell us about what's going on there, and in particular Senate Bill 184, and what it means for families like yours?

Heather:

It feels like it is a wedge issue, a wedge political issue that the Republicans are using to garner votes. It, they're not interested in seeking expert advice. I found out yesterday that they did have one of the gender physicians come and speak to the governing body. They chose to go with a person, according to my representative, who had transitioned at one point. I am not sure if it was social transition or a medical transition, but this person said that was not for them, and they went back to being a cis-person. So, it really doesn't seem like it, they're looking out for children. What it means for the kids of the state is that they're going to detransition all the kids in the state, if they can. I don't think that people truly understand that. Detransitioning is a hard thing to experience for kids. There's a lot of emotional change that comes with it. There's a lot of physical change that comes with it. It means that we are putting children in a position that they're going to have a lot of suicidal ideation. They're going to feel very alone. They're going to feel like they're in the wrong body, and it's going to be frightening for them. As young kids, as teens, it's hard enough being a teenager alone, let's not even stack on all the other things that kids are dealing with today. It's just, it's a sad day. It's a sad time for the Alabamians here that are just wanting to live their lives. It's for the trans kids and the parents of trans kids who are just wanting to get through day to day. It's really a sad situation.

Ken Harbaugh:

Can you tell us a little bit about your family and about your son? We had a brief conversation a couple of days ago, and it just struck me, and I want you to share this, how you have a normal little boy.

Heather:

I did.

Ken Harbaugh:

You confided in me that the last word you would use to describe him is trans. He is so much more than just that.

Heather:

He is. He is an amazing kid. Yeah. In fact, I don't even, like it never enters my mind that he's a trans kid. Even when I gave him his testosterone shot, and that doesn't register for me because he acts like a boy. He talks like a boy. The way he interacts with me and his brother, he's very much a boy. He is a super smart kid. He's a fantastic writer. He's smarter than I ever was at his age. Like, I am, it blows my mind that kids now are so intelligent, but I really feel like he is smarter than the average kid. He likes art. He, I don't know if I told you this, but can I tell you a little story?

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah, please.

Heather:

Okay. So, my kids have been playing Roblox for years, and I noticed all the sudden that they weren't asking for Robux, which is the money that they use on Roblox. I noticed that they weren't asking for Robux, which was very odd to me. It just kind of slipped. It kind of slipped my mind. I said, "You know what, why don't y'all need Robux anymore?" Because, I knew they were still online. Rob said, "Oh, well, I opened a t-shirt store, and that's how we get Robux." I said, "Oh, well, that's interesting," thinking, "Oh, they've opened a cute little shop and they're selling 10 to 15 shirts. I said, "Oh, well, what's your total now?" He said, "Oh, like 30,000." I said, "What?" Because they were selling for like 50 cents each, like half of a Robux. So, he had been designing t-shirts in Roblox for a very long time, and has amassed thousands of people in his group for sales. I think that was at the tender age of 14. So, those are the kinds of things I never would've done. I just, I think it's, I think it's interesting and a testament to the kind of kid he is. He gets something in his mind and he is like, "Okay, I'm going to do this." Then when he does it, he goes all out. There is, he's not holding back at all.

So, he's a very determined kid. He plays the ukulele. He loves to play Plants Versus Zombies. He likes music. He's introducing, I am a musician. I am a music teacher, and he's constantly introducing me to music. He's an amazing kid.

To think that any kind of elected official is trying to take away healthcare from him is just crazy to me. We're not… we've never been a huge political family. I've been on Twitter. I keep up with things. I know what's going on in the political realm, but to call me an activist, that was not what I was. I was an informed voter, but now I feel like we've been forced into this. While he's not terribly excited about becoming an activist, he has done several interviews, and I have been blown away at what he has said in the interviews. So, he's just, he's just a fantastic kid. He's a fantastic brother. He takes good care of his brother. He teaches little brother. Of course, his little brother is 13 now, so he's not so little. But when he was younger, he was very much protective of little brother. He has a dog and he has several cats, and he's just a good kid. He's just a good kid overall. You can hear the cats in the background running around. Sorry about that.

Ken Harbaugh:

What are some of his playlist favorites? You mentioned that he's making recommendations to you.

Heather:

He likes Will, is it Will Wood and the Tapeworms? I thought he was over there. I think Will Wood and the Tapeworms.

Ken Harbaugh:

I'm going to check it out.

Heather:

He likes The Correspondents. He introduced me to Stela Cole, not too long ago. I was just like, oh my goodness. I love her, and she has a fantastic voice. Like, that was my, that's my kind of music. He had been introducing me to things that weren't so much my style, but I still like them. I can appreciate any kind of music, as long as it's good. Oh, Shayfer James. It's a lot of dark stuff that he's listening to, but at the same time, it's very intelligent and well- thought out. He's not your average, I like pop songs kid, so it's always unique things. There's another artist. I can't remember what the name is, but he's like, it's like a symphony of different sounds, and-

Rob:

Cosmo Sheldrake.

Heather:

Oh, Cosmo Sheldrake he says, in the background. So, he's just, he's a good mixture of his dad and me, but then he's his own person.

Ken Harbaugh:

Awesome. Well, the Republican legislature in Alabama is trying to change that, and SB 184 Senate Bill 184 provides- I know, you know this, but for our listeners, up to 10 years in prison. Class C felony for anyone, including doctors and parents who assist in getting kids like Rob the gender-affirming care they need. Now it has been blocked temporarily in the courts, but what would it mean if the Senate, if the Alabama legislature is able to overcome that roadblock, and target families like yours?

Heather:

It's going to mean a lot of stress, I would think, on the families in Alabama. I'm really concerned about the number of kids- It's already a difficult thing to be trans and to go through that process, and I think when you have adults trying to take your identity away from you, that makes it even worse. So, I hate to say that I think we will lose many kids to suicide. I think we will have, there will be more bullying than there has been in the past. I mean, I already hear about the bullying that goes on at school for trans kids and their families having to take them out of school. But because this has become such a wedge issue and people are talking about it and it's in the news and it's on Fox and it's on the local news. I did hear it on our local news. That means everybody's hearing it, which, and if they're not getting, they're getting like a 15-second blip, a 30-second blip, and they don't truly understand what it means.

If their kid had cancer, they would go to the doctor, and they would get help for that. Right? Now, I'm not trying to say one is better than the other, or one's worse than the other, but no matter what's happening with your kids, you always try to take care of their medical needs, and for the legislature of Alabama to take that away from kids or to take away even the possibility of treating that, it's tragic. It is, it is mentally stressful. It is emotionally… it's a lot. When this first happened, I cried for about a week. I was constant, just crying. I even canceled some of my students. I was having a hard time holding myself together. Then after a little while it kind of got better, but then I would have outbursts. So, I can't imagine, and I'm at home. I'm not at work. I'm not having to deal with the general public. I have one-on-one lessons with kids. I can't imagine what that means for parents who are having to go to work. I can't imagine what that means for kids who are having to go to school, and deal with bullying while also knowing that adults who are in charge of the state of Alabama are trying to take away their healthcare. I think it means overall, that we're going to see a lot happen, but I don't know what that is. I think there's going to be a lot of damage done, and I'm afraid of the number of kids that are going to be harmed, and harmed means anything from losing their life, to being traumatically damaged, emotionally damaged.

Ken Harbaugh:

I reached out to you, Heather, because you're in Alabama and I graduated from high school in Alabama. I have some sense of the community that you find yourself in, and some of the misconceptions and the biases and the prejudice. But, this is not a problem limited to Alabama.

Heather:

No.

Ken Harbaugh:

We see these trans bills coming up everywhere. Can you give us just a rough sense of what you are hearing from fellow advocates about what is happening around the country?

Heather:

Well, one thing I saw on Twitter yesterday was, there was a bill that was brought forward. I want to say it was in Ohio, but my memory is sketchy. But this Congressperson was almost trying to make it appear that it was the recommendation of a major medical association that they take away trans care for kids. That was not the case. What he was trying to promote is a very small pocket of a couple of hundred physicians, not the tens of thousands of physicians across the country, who believe that gender-affirming care is necessary. They're really not being truthful with the American public, with their colleagues who are going to have to vote on these things, and what activists are telling me is that we probably do need to get out. We probably do need to go to a Blue state, but even this morning, somebody, now I know he's a, maybe an outlier in New Jersey, but somebody proposed a bill and took it to Committee in New Jersey. New Jersey is clearly a Blue state. It won't pass there, but it's almost like they are trying to throw everything they can to see what sticks at the wall, and then whatever sticks they're going to just hammer it home.

Activists have been saying for a long time, trans people have been saying for a long time, this is coming, and it's really frightening because they realize no one is coming to save us. The majority of the people coming to assist and help and provide support are other people in the LGBT community. It's almost like the public is not really on board, or they don't know about it. They haven't heard about it. I mean, even when I've talked to my family members, I mentioned it and I was like, "Well, we're probably going to have to move," and that's the last time it's been brought up. I just, it just blows my mind how the general public is just not hearing us, not paying attention.

Ken Harbaugh:

Did you ever imagine that in the United States of America, in 2022, you would be having to pack up, leave your home, and find refuge in a safer state?

Heather:

No. In fact, I knew that they were working on these bills. We moved about nine months ago. I'm in the middle of a divorce and we moved nine, 10 months ago. I knew that they had been trying to do this for a while, but I was, I guess, naive in the fact that I thought we've come a long way with LGBT rights. We've come a long way since the AIDS and HIV crisis. But I'm kind of like, sometimes I'm like the glass is all the way full. Then other times I'm a complete pessimist, and what I find is when I'm in situations like this, the pessimism serves me well, because it prepares me for the absolute worst. Then if it's better, I'm good.

So, I think that's how I'm handling this. I did not imagine that this would be the case, but I'm kind of expecting the worst, because I feel like I need to get us to a safe state. What is a safe state? In Vermont, I think it was Brattleboro Vermont, I think that there was an attack on the LGBT center in town. Well, Vermont is a complete Blue state, but you still have these pockets of people in every single state, that they're very conservative. They are racist, bigoted. So, when they said move to a safe state, I was given two states close to me. Close, by close, I mean, 14 hours away, of where we should go. That is not something I ever imagined. When this first happened, I thought, "Okay, I'm just going to move us to another Southern state that might be safe like Atlanta, I'll move us to Atlanta. That should be okay." Then Aaron said, "Well, Atlanta will probably fall in three to four years. That will, you'll probably get a good three to four years out of Atlanta, and then you'll need to move on to a safer state." So, that is really why I started the GoFundMe, because in my mind, I could not imagine moving, and sitting somewhere for four years, and then having to sell a home, pack up and relocate again. So, my goal now is just to find a safe place, but where is that safe place? I did not imagine that in 2022, I would be saying, "Where is the safe place?" It boggles my mind, and I know I keep sounding shocked. I shouldn't be shocked, because I've known people in Alabama my whole life, but I am shocked. I shared our situation with a lot of people when this happened. We have been flying under the radar. No one has really known about us, because I wasn't trying to draw attention to us. A lot of people I shared this with did not respond to me, and that was the first time that it hit me, this is not good. Even the people who know me best, who I always thought would support whatever I was doing, whatever I was feeling, these people didn't respond. That is when it became real. We are in 2022, and the people who know that I am a pretty smart person, I am a responsible person, I'm a good parent, and they had no response. That was the first moment. It was scary. It was absolutely scary to think that my friends did not support us, because if my friends are not supporting us, what is the rest of the country going to be thinking, especially the ones who are getting inaccurate information?

Ken Harbaugh:

Hearing you say Atlanta will fall in three to four years, I mean, it's evocative of war commentary.

Heather:

Yeah.

Ken Harbaugh:

It must be just terrifying to try to imagine where your family can be safe. There is a support network though, however thinly distributed. You mentioned someone named Aaron. There are folks, you are relying on? What can allies and advocates do to help in situations like this?

Heather:

Well, I think at this point, the best thing that allies can do is educate their families. I remember hearing this at the same time when we were dealing with the Black Lives Matter situations a couple of years ago. The organizers kept saying, "Speak to your families. Have those hard conversations." I think that is the number one most important thing that one can do is to be educated, learn about what it means to be trans. Maybe listen to some of the gender-affirming docs, listen to other trans people. There are tons of trans people on YouTube and Twitter talking about their experiences, talking about their lives. Until, or unless people become educated, they're not going to fully understand it, and be able to educate their family members who would not be exposed to that information.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah. Now, the Republicans in Alabama and elsewhere are attempting a substantive argument, however cynical, by tapping into this very small pool of physicians who do not subscribe to the body of literature that upholds the value of gender- affirming care. You mentioned the “expert” that the Alabama legislature brought in- I'm putting expert in quotes, because this person was one of the vanishingly few who regretted their gender-affirming care.

Heather:

Right.

Ken Harbaugh:

But I want to speak to that, just briefly, because even though people aren't aren't numbers, even if you just take the statistical argument, the less than 1% of people who later in life regret gender-affirming care are dwarfed by those for whom it is literally life-saving.

Heather:

Oh, yeah.

Ken Harbaugh:

Can you speak to that? The challenge you come up against when people argue that this is a kid and you should wait.

Heather:

Yeah. We have these experts saying that it's too soon. It's not too soon. My child, very early on, I could tell something was not right.

I will never forget the moment that I put the kid on stage in a very frilly outfit for, I think it was a Christmas play, and it was a huge fight that morning to even get the outfit on. But I put the kid on the stage. I'm sorry, I'm going to get emotional about this. But I put him on the stage, and I watched him, and I watched the terror in his face as he had to stand up in front of all those people looking like that. This is a kid who has never been shy about being on stage until he became a teenager, really. He was a pastor's kid. He was always used to being in front of a crowd. He was used to being in front of adults. He talked to adults like a little adult. That moment that I put him up on stage, I decided at that point, I would never argue with him anymore about clothing, because it wasn't worth it. He knew early on. He just did not have the words. So, if children don't have the vocabulary to explain something to you, in their mind, they are thinking that something is wrong with them. He thought something was off and something was not right, but he did not know how to express it.

It's funny, when he was even a toddler, like one to two years old, I bought so many dolls. I mean, I loved dolls. I loved Barbies, and I thought, "Okay, I cannot wait to share dolls with this kid." I bought doll after doll, after doll, and he hated them all, was not interested at all. He liked to play with boys. He didn't like to play with girls. All the things, like, if you took a really boy's boy, and you tried to make him a girl, he would be uncomfortable. He would not like it. He would fight you on anything. He didn't like girl things. He didn't even like to dress as a girl. He would, he, he didn't like his hair. I love, he had the biggest blonde curls, ringlet curls, and they were beautiful- like, everybody was amazed by how beautiful this child's hair was, and it was a fight every Sunday morning when I was trying to make those ringlets look perfect. EIt was, everything that you would do for a girl, he hated. Now I look back and I think, "Well, if I would've treated him like his younger brother, none of this would've been a problem."

I eventually got over it. I got over the fact that I was trying to make him be what I wanted him to be, rather than what he wanted to be. and I became a much better parent after a year or two. But, it's heartbreaking to think that Republicans want children to be miserable, when very early on, they need to be hearing about gender. It's interesting that they say it's too early, because when he came out, his little brother, he, we told him, and I was so nervous about is his little brother going to remember his pronouns? Is his little brother going to constantly call him the wrong name? His little brother was the one who always got it right. We told him and he said, "Oh, okay," and then life went on. There was no question about “Why is this?” “Where did this come from?” It was just like, you're telling me what is, and I'm accepting it. How backward is it that we as adults don't do that? We immediately think we know best for kids. So, I think, we need to trust kids a little more, and I know that's a scary thought, but we need to trust kids when they say they get it, and he very much got it. I've seen stories like that all over Twitter about, ‘I told my niece and nephew that I was trans, and they had no problem with it. It was the parents who had a problem with it.’ So, I think that we as adults have almost gotten a little full of ourselves, thinking that we know everything, but, and we're really good at everything, but obviously we're not good at this. It seems that children are doing better at accepting this than adults, and if we can just listen to the kids, I think that's so important. But, that's hard in Alabama, because in Alabama, kids are supposed to obey. They say, yes, ma'am and no ma'am and yes, sir and no, sir. They are, let's see, what was my ... My father-in-law used to say, "Children are meant to be seen and not heard." That's the way it is here in the South. You're expected to be a picture of what the adults think the child should be. I don't know what your question was, but that's where I went.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, I have a follow up. Does Rob know how lucky he is to have you as a mom?

Heather:

Yeah. That's going to make me cry too. I'll never forget when he came out as trans, almost daily, the kid would say, "I love you so much. I'm so lucky to have you." And, you know what I felt was, I'm lucky to have him. I am luckier than he is, because he's a fantastic kid, and I'm lucky to have a kid who wants to be authentic, who listened to his inner-self and said, "This is what I'm feeling." I wish that I had introduced them to the acronym, and what the acronym meant way before I did. I waited too late. But at that time, I was really uneducated about when to introduce things, and there was a lot going on in our life that was difficult. So, things are hard sometimes, and you don't really understand why you didn't do things, but if you really dig deep, you understand, well, there was just so much going on, there was no way we could think of that.

For a long time, I thought there was something else wrong. I was evaluating my parenting, because I thought, "Am I doing it wrong? Something is not right with this kid. He's not comfortable. Do I need to change my style of parenting?" I can't tell you how many books I've read about gentle parenting, and, let's see. Naomi Aldort, I spent a lot of time reading, listening to her lectures about dealing with the inner child that we have, so we can be a better parent. I tried all those things. I was convinced that I needed to have, I was seeking out help from her, because I thought I'm doing it wrong, but I did not give him the vocabulary he needed to understand what was going on with him, and to express to me what was going on with him. I wish I would've done that sooner, and I would say, around three is when I probably should have done it.

Ken Harbaugh:

How is Rob, who's 15 now, taking the prospect of having to leave Alabama and find another home?

Heather:

He's really sad. He's really sad. Both kids are kind of sad. I mean, we're all a little sad, but we're all in shock. We have been away from their grandparents, my family, for their entire lives. I can count on two hands, the number of times in his 15 years, that he remembers seeing his grandparents. When we got here, they really didn't know their cousins. They have cousins who are almost exactly the same age. Sorry, there's a cat back there scratching off on something...

Okay. But, they did not know their cousins when they came here. It was very awkward the first meeting, when you put kids together and they've never seen each other, it's kind of like nobody's talking and everybody's just kind of looking around, and it was very awkward, but then it became fun. They had the best time at Christmas, and we had all these plans that we were going to do. Then this, and so that's heartbreaking, because they've never had family close to them. We lived in Pennsylvania, away from their cousins who were in Illinois. Their cousins in Illinois are so much older, so it's not like they can really connect. But these cousins here, my sister's kids, are exactly nine months younger than my kids, so they're very much the same age. They're all within four years of each other, and they have similar personalities to a certain extent. I get, maybe it's because my sister and I are siblings, and that's what, and they act like us. But it's heartbreaking that kids who have never been around their family, and they just got here, they're now having to leave their family, and it's not going to be easy to get back. If we were in Atlanta, it would be easy for their grandparents to come get them and take them back for a week or two. But if we have to move to Maryland or even farther north than that, it's not going to be easy. It's going to mean a very long drive or putting them on a plane. The fact that I have to uproot us and move us again, after moving nine months ago, I'm tapped out. So, it's going to be hard to stay connected, and yeah, there's some ways like Skype or not even Skype, how old am I? Zoom, FaceTime. They can do all those things, but I don't think that's the same as them getting in the golf cart at KK and Big Daddies, and driving around the property. It's not like they're going over to their cousins to swim. It's not like going to my niece's baseball game and kind of hanging out with the family. Those are all things we're going to lose and we're going to miss out on, and we had already missed out on that before. So, my children are going to live a life without their family. When I brought them back here, I thought, at least they have a few years- of teenage years that they are with family, and now we're going to lose that. We've had nine months, and in that nine months, my grandmother has gone into hospice care. My mother hurt her back, so she was down for the entire Thanksgiving, Christmas, about six to seven months before that. It's just, it's been a stressful time in the amount of time we've been here. We haven't even gotten relaxed. I mean, yeah. We felt like we were getting in the groove, but were we really? No. So, it's going to be hard. It's unfair. It's very unfair.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah. Well, the state is forcing you to choose between having your family nearby, and the safety and health of your son.

Heather:

Right. I said that to someone. I said, "But I'm going to miss my family." He said, "But your child is your family." I'm so sorry. He said, "Your child is your family." It was at that moment that I realized I was having to choose, and it was almost like my heart broke all over again. Little things like this come up. I might read something on Twitter or have a conversation with somebody and it hits me in the face. This is hard. This is not what I expected my life to be. None of us live a life that we expect, but mine in particular has been a little difficult. I finally felt like I had gotten somewhere where life was going to be a little easier, and then come the Republicans. We're just trying to live our lives, and go to the doctor, and they're wanting to take that away from us.

I cannot ... It blows my mind that every major medical association is… every legitimate, major medical association supports gender-affirming care. The research is out there that it is best to give kids gender-affirming care, and we have legislators who are taking that away. Day after day, another bill is being brought forward, and I feel like that we're going to be in a situation, or we already are, where we are refugees. We are trying to flee to keep our families safe, and just like in a war time or whatever, there's going to be those left behind. I think that was when my GoFundMe started taking off, that bothered me so much. I think that's why I've decided, I am signing up to be an activist, because I feel like people have given to me and I need to pay it forward, and there's going to be a lot of kids who need help. There's going to be a lot of kids who need support. There's going to be families who need support. Right now, nobody's doing anything about that. The government really isn't doing anything. It's really left up to us and a handful of orgs to support families, to do whatever they feel they need to do.

Now, some families are okay. Some families are at, their kids are like maybe four or five, and they have identified their kids as needing gender-affirming care, but they're not at the stage where they need that yet, so they have time. But I felt like that I don't, I don't have time. I don't feel like I have time. He's 15. He will be 16 in December. I've only got him for what, two more years until he goes to college. I cannot in good conscience keep him in a place that doesn't want him here, or doesn't want him to be healthy.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, we want to help. We will make sure to post the GoFundMe link in the show notes. Right now, because of the judges' stay of SB 184, your son is still getting the testosterone treatments.

Heather:

Right. Everything that has been written for him, all prescriptions that were written before the bill was put into place, those can still be filled. So, we have several months. We're safe. Their dad lives in another state that is not, well, I mean, Pennsylvania is already having some of these conversations, but, and I think they may have, or they're working on one of the trans sport bills. I don't know. It's hard to keep up, honestly, but medically, we are safe for now.

They had already been talking to several of us about what we would be doing if this happens. They do have game plans laid out about how they're going to help the kids in the state. But, I don't feel like we're in a position- There's a lot of other layers to our onion that I really, I can't share, and I don't feel like I should have to share. I shouldn't have to justify why it's important for my family to get out. But there's a lot of other reasons that I feel like it's very important that I get him out. So, while some kids might be okay here, I just don't feel like that we would, but we're safe for now. You're right.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, thank you so much, Heather, for sharing what you have. We'll help.

Heather:

I appreciate it. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you guys doing this, and it's so important for people to hear stories, and it means a lot that you guys were willing to reach out and share our story. I appreciate it.

Ken Harbaugh:

You're welcome.

Thanks again to Heather for sharing her story. Please consider donating to her gofundme, which is very close to reaching its goal. The link is in the show description.

Thanks for listening to Burn the Boats. If you have any feedback, please email the team at [email protected]. We’re always looking to improve the show.

For updates and more, follow us on Twitter at @Team_Harbaugh.

And if you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to rate and review.

Thanks to our partner, VoteVets. Their mission is to give a voice to veterans on matters of national security, veterans’ care, and issues that affect the lives of those who have served. VoteVets is backed by more than 700,000 veterans, family members, and their supporters. To learn more, go to VoteVets.org.

Burn the Boats is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. Our producer is Declan Rohrs, and Sean Rule-Hoffman is our Audio Engineer. Special thanks to Evergreen executive producers Joan Andrews, Michael DeAloia, and David Moss.

I’m Ken Harbaugh and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions.

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